noun | nine·two·fiv·er
: a person who works 9 to 5
noun | non·con·ten·der
: a person who has no chance of winning in a contest
noun | non·fin·ish·er
: a person who starts something but does not finish it
Why, yes, I'm toeing the start line at my second Olympic Trials marathon. But, there's a catch.
If you read the headline closely enough, you'll realize that I don't plan on crossing the finish line of the (second) most important race of my life. Gulp.
Don't worry, I've come to terms with my predicament because I still have the privilege to toe the line alongside our country's best distance runners. Numerous people have had to drop out from the race, which is especially difficult for those professional runners whose entire livelihood depends on one major marathon a year, and, every four years, a hope for an Olympic berth. Fortunately for me, running is not my career nor does my paycheck depend on my race performance. As a non-contender, I never had the chance to make the Olympic team, but I do have the opportunity to pursue big dreams and to push myself to new limits. The Olympic Trials marathon allows me to toe the line and compete with so many talented women who have poured countless miles, energy and mental stamina into this one endeavor. It's an opportunity that merely puts us all on the big stage together, so that we can achieve our dreams one mile at time, side-by-side.
Unfortunately for me, I've battled a calf strain and an achilles issue since October 9th. In the sixteen weeks leading up to the Trials, I envisioned:
- 12 weeks of 85+ miles per week
- 24 unique workouts
- Four 22+ miles long runs
Nope. Instead, this is what happened:
- 44 consecutive days off from late November to early January
- 5 weeks of running, at an average of 25 miles per week
- 3 unique workouts
- 8 miles longest run
|Spent a lot of time with needles in me|
But the good news? I still get to toe the start line, run side-by-side with Meagan and help her achieve her goals. Because on Saturday, Meagan's goals will become mine. My purpose is to make her race be as great as it can possibly be. Because I'm by her side, providing encouragement, water and Gatorade, maybe even a wind block if necessary, I will take some of her stress away.
So on Saturday, I will toe the line and then I will gracefully bow out of the race when it seems necessary. I have the honor to run a couple of miles, while my friends and family cheer loudly not only from the sidelines in LA, but also 3000 miles away from the comfort of their own homes, watching on NBC or tracking on their phones. In that moment, I will feel the tremendous love and support from everyone who made it possible for me be there. I am so grateful to have such a powerful support group.
And, damn, I definitely wouldn't have been able to toe that start line without the help of so many people:
- Don Reagan - Head PT at Mountain River PT
- Jason Shutt - Duke DPT and movement coach
- Shefali Christopher - PT at Duke
- Scott Greenapple - Chiropractor and Acupuncturist
- Josh Komata - Massage Therapist at SMI Palo Alto
- Todd Norwood - Agile PT
- Dena Evans - Head Coach Strava Track Club
- Frank He - Acupuncturist at He Cares Integrative Medicine Center
- Sara Ratia - Acupuncturist at ACU Family Care Clinic
- Skechers Performance - Shoes and Apparel sponsor
- Balega - BEST SOCKS EVER
Finally, some helpful information on the Trials coverage.
How to Watch the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon on NBC
Guide to the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon